57th and Lafayette

Sweet Water Foundation Pocket Park

Rodgers Fellows Class of 2016 Summer Immersion

In our inaugural multi-week summer intensive for teens, the Rodgers Fellows class of 2016 put their collective brains to work, and partnered with the Sweetwater Foundation to design a pocket park. Located on the border between Englewood and Washington Park, The Sweetwater Foundation seeks to become the anchor for a forgotten neighborhood. Their motto - there grows the neighborhood - encourages the importance of an urban farming, reclaiming wasted material, and empowering communities. Through peer/professional/community collaboration and input, the Rodgers Fellows researched, sketched, argued/compromised, modeled, presented, revised, and hope to bring real change to a community in Chicago on a project that is truly their own. Their final design will actually be built, and will be exhibited as part of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Define Challenge

Design Challenge Brief

Design a pocket park for the site on 57th and Lafayette for the Sweet Water Foundation. Your design needs to include community feedback.

Collect Info

How do I Collect Information for this step of the Design Process?

Collect Information

In the Collect Info step of the design process, you try to gather as much information as possible about your existing school or community parks and spaces, along with the students, staff and neighbors who will use it.  You can't propose new solutions until you figure out and document what the existing problems are.

Brainstorm Ideas

How do you Brainstorm Ideas for this step of the design process?

Brainstorm Ideas

In the Brainstorm Ideas step of the design process, you will develop ideas from all of the information you've collected. You will start to be inspired by new places and you put some early ideas down on paper that show what you've found in the Collect Info step. You also might take more photos to show specific new ideas you have. 

Develop Solutions

How do you Develop Solutions for this step of the design process?

Develop Solutions

You've been gathering all sorts of information, and brainstorming creative options for your pocket park. Now it's time to put all the pieces together and make some final decisions. In the Develop Solutions step, your rough ideas come together with drawings and models that can show others your solutions for a new pocket park.

Final Design

How do you create a Final Design for this step of the design process?

Final Design

The Final Design step of the design process is to create more finished drawings and models that illustrate your ideas to others. Remember, your explanation text, and the types of drawings, images, and models you share need to tell the whole story of your project to someone who may or may not have ever visited your neighborhood or pocket park site.